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Youth Olympian Harris moves into Futures 2 final
- Updated: November 15, 2015
The future is looking bright for up and coming South African tennis star Lloyd Harris.
Part of Team SA at last year’s Youth Olympic Games, Harris, is enjoying his last year as a junior and remained the only South African through to the singles finals of the Digicall Futures 2 being played in Stellenbosch.
In Saturday’s semi-finals shocked the top seed Pascal Brunner of Austria 7-5 6-3 to reach Sunday’s final.
Harris, the fourth seed, needed an hour and forty minutes to upset the top seed. ‘It’s a great feeling to win through in the semifinals especially against the favourite of the tournament. I had never played Pascal before but had seen his matches during the week’ said Harris following victory.
In the finals Harris will go up against the third seeded Austrian Lucas Miedler. Miedler spoilt the chances of an all-South African final when he toppled second seed Nik Scholtz 6-4 6-3.
‘It will be the first time going up against Lucas, I remember him from the juniors circuit, where at one point he was in the top 20 in the world so he is a very strong player also having beat Nik today I am expecting a real tough match’ admitted Harris.
It was an unfortunately loss for Scholtz, who won the first Digicall Futures title last Sunday. A week ago to the day, Scholtz ironically beat Miedler in three sets to reach the Digicall Futures 1 final but today (Saturday) Miedler got sweet revenge.
‘I went into today’s match very well prepared, I felt that last week I made many unnecessary errors and I was not going to repeat them this week.’ said Miedler.
‘Nik is a very strong player with a very big server. I noticed also that Lloyd Harris has a similar serve but we will have to wait and see tomorrow in the finals. Regardless I will be prepared for whatever Lloyd is going to throw my way.’
In the women’s semi-final’s Zimbabwe’s Velaria Bhunu continued her winning streak of upsetting seeded opponents en route to the final. Bhunu, ranked a low 1011 on the world rankings is having the tennis week of her life.
The unseeded Zimbabwean came from a set down to upset the seventh seed German, Luisa Huber 3-6 6-4 7-5 to reach Sundays final.
In Friday’s quarter-finals Bhunu upset fifth seeded American Jaeda Daniel in a three setter thriller and Saturday’s semi-finals it was no different. ‘I was a set down and began to feel anxious, Luisa is a powerful player who makes it look so easy’ said Bhunu. ‘After the first set I made it a point that I make every point count.’
Bhunu will now meet sixth seeded Katharina Hering of Germany for the title. Hering beat unseeded Gabriella Taylor of Great Britain 3-6 6-4 6-2.
At last year’s African Region 5 Games in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Bhunu was beaten to the gold medal by South Africa’s Katie Poluta.
Picture of Harris courtesy of BLD Communications